The babirusa is a bizarre-looking pig from Indonesia. The males have extraordinary tusks which develop from their canine teeth, growing up through the skull and growing in a curve until it pierces the skull again between the eyes.
Up to 24 years.
85-105cm long with a tail of 27-32cm, and weighing up to 90kg.
A bizarre-looking pig with males having curved tusks growing vertically up through its upper jaw and curving back down to pierce the skull between the eyes. The lower canine teeth also grow upwards and curve back to form a second set of tusks. The skin is a brownish grey colour and is covered in sparse white or grey bristles.
The babirusa is only found on a few Indonesian islands: Sulawesi, Togian, Sulu and Burn Islands.
Omnivorous, eating mainly fruit but also leaves, grasses, small animals and carrion.
Babirusa live in groups of one or a few adult females and their young while the adult males are solitary. They spend much of the day in mud wallows, rubbing off the dried mud and skin parasites on trees afterwards.
The males stand on their hind legs and 'box', presumably trying to break their opponent's tusks. 125-150 days after mating the females produce a very small litter of only 1-2 piglets, born in a nest of underbrush. She has only one pair of teats from which to feed them.
The babirusa is listed as Vulnerable, following increased hunting and habitat loss over the last 20 years or more. Despite protection, illegal poaching continues and only a few thousand individuals are left.